A peasant is a laborer, a farmer who owns a small farm or other member of a traditional subservient class of rural folk that existed in pre-industrial societies, especially in the Middle Ages under feudalism, and in present times still survive in some pre-industrial societies.〔(peasant, def. A.1.a. n. OED Online. March 2012. Oxford University Press. 28 May 2012 )〕〔(Merrian-Webster online "peasant" )〕 In Europe, peasants were divided into three classes according to their personal status: slave, serf, and free tenant. Peasants either hold title to land in fee simple, or hold land by any of several forms of land tenure, among them socage, quit-rent, leasehold, and copyhold.
The word "peasant" is—and long has been—often used pejoratively to refer to poor or landless farmers and agricultural workers, especially in the poorer countries of the world in which the agricultural labor force makes up a large percentage of the population. The implication of the term is that the "peasant" is uneducated, ignorant, and unfamiliar with the more sophisticated mannerisms of the urban population.
The word "peasant" is also commonly used in a non-pejorative sense as a collective noun for the rural population in the poor and under-developed countries of the world.
The word "peasant" is derived from the 15th century French word ''païsant'', meaning one from the ''pays'' (peasants paid tribute to the feudal lord), or countryside; ultimately from the Latin ''pagus'', or outlying administrative district.〔''Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary'' p. 846, 866.〕
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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